ASK any Sheffield Wednesday fan and they’ll tell you. In fact, you probably don’t even need to ask. They’ll tell you anyway.
Lose to Bristol City and Dave Jones is on his way. Nowhere is that set in stone, of course, but there seem to be an awful lot who seem convinced. Or have convinced themselves and their mates.
Anyway, win, lose or draw and it doesn’t happen, they reckon the same fate awaits should they lose at Barnsley the following week - a game whose crunch factor gets louder with every passing day.
It is, to casual observers, something of a surprise that it has come to this.
For all Gary Megson’s good work, there are plenty who reckon Wednesday wouldn’t have made automatic promotion had things remained unchanged.
Dave Jones came in and the rest is history. So, was Jones a good manager at the end of last season? And is he a bad one now? Well, you might just say “It’s the results, stupid”.
Certainly Megson never got the encouraging word from Milan Mandaric that Jones did last week as the club stood on the brink of a run of six straight defeats for the second time this season.
The intriguing question is does Mandaric base the Jones future on this next result or the one after that?
Or does he carry on regardless, believing his manager has the experience to lead the club to safety?
And where does the January transfer window fit into all this?
Surely, manager has informed chairman of possible targets, even likely signings, come January. And one can safely assume that he will have assured him that they will strengthen the squad?
So, stick by your man then?
However - and given his past record - this is where you may find Jones’ recruitment for Wednesday a touch underwhelming.
So far, he has brought in 16 players although, perhaps, the last two signings made a couple of weeks ago can be parked to one side.
Five of them (Kirkland, Gardner, when fit, Antonio, Bothroyd and Barkley) have been what you’d call regular starters although I can’t recall Wednesday fans not ‘taking’ to a new player quite like has been the case with Bothroyd.
Of the remaining nine, eight have hardly even figured or they have flitted in and out. The remaining one, Martin Taylor, looked a solid signing but Jones has even had to leave him out.
It isn’t, to be frank, a great record when closely scrutinised.
Of course, not all signings come off but you may reckon not enough have done so here. He would certainly have expected better.
So, if discussions have been made over prospective signings in January, then any chairman in Mandaric’s position would have to be convinced that they will have a greater impact than the majority of the ones made so far.
If the chairman - any chairman - believes his manager can get the right players in, then he backs him and sticks with him.
But then it brings us back to results. And we’re back to tomorrow and, perhaps, Oakwell a week tomorrow.
Another defeat tomorrow (surely not) and even those backing him might just start wavering.
As you might well have said when Jones moved in, had his great start and then opened this season so well - who would have thought it could possibly come to this?